Obituaries — March 7

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 7, 2019

Elizabeth Anne Rice Ciccolella

Elizabeth Anne Rice Ciccolella, 66, died on Feb. 14, 2019. She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on March 1, 1952, to Howie and Ruth Rice. Her father served in the Navy, so they moved frequently, finally settling in Pfafftown in 1969. She graduated from West Forsyth in 1970. She worked at Old Salem in the Single Brothers’ Dye Shop, which inspired her to attend UNCG to enhance her skills in the art of weaving. She also studied to be an interpreter for the deaf, passing her love of sign language and deaf culture on to her children. In early 1995, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and underwent a lengthy experimental treatment protocol. She was declared cancer-free in 2008, but was re-diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2015. This did not stop her from volunteering at Feel Good Friday, encouraging other cancer patients. She loved and appreciated her church family at Grace Bible Church who helped her grow in her faith in Jesus Christ. In the early hours of Valentine’s Day, she went home to her Savior. She was predeceased by her youngest brother, Mark Kilner Rice; her mother, Ruth Elizabeth Tuttle Rice; her stepmother, Louise Hester-Rice; her father, Howell Barbee Rice; and many much-loved pets. She is survived by her three beloved children, David Rice, Amy Isabella, and Mark William; her sister, Linda Susan Davey, her brothers, Paul Andrew and Timothy Stephen; nieces and nephews; and her ex-husband, William Bradley Ciccolella. A memorial service was held at 7 p.m. on March 1 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her memory to local chapters of Cancer Services, Inc.

Ronald Boyd Creasy Sr.

Ronald Boyd Creasy Sr., 83, passed away Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, after a long illness. He was born in Roanoke, Va., on April 29, 1935, to the late Walter White and Elsie Epperly Creasy. Preceding him in death were three sisters, Thelma, Walda, and Corrine; brother, Clay, and a granddaughter, Dayna. Mr. Creasy began his career in the insurance field in Roanoke in 1956 and transferred to Winston-Salem in 1961 as the district manager for Life Insurance Company of Georgia. He served as president of the Winston-Salem Association of Life Underwriters. His true passion was real estate and in 1971 he established Creasy Real Estate. He later served as president of the Waughtown Business Association. Mr. Creasy served in the Naval Reserves and was a member of Ardmore United Methodist Church since 1962. He loved fishing with his family and friends at his second home in Holden Beach. Surviving is his loving wife of 63 years, Barbara Manning Creasy; three sons, Ronald Boyd Creasy, Jr. (Sharon), Brian Walter Creasy (Karen), and Blake Glennwood Creasy (Donna); five grandchildren, Susan, Samantha, Zachary, Hannah, and Jason; great-granddaughter, Zoey Ann; sister-in-law, Juanita; also surviving are many nieces, nephews, cousins and his best friend, John Hamilton. A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Ardmore United Methodist Church with Rev. Dr. Matthew S. Farabow officiating. The family received friends after the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ardmore United Methodist Church, 630 South Hawthorne Road Winston-Salem, N.C. 27103 or to The Salvation Army, Post Office Box 1205 Winston-Salem, N.C., 27102. Online condolences may be made at

John Miller Ellis

John Miller Ellis, 91, of Clemmons, died March 2, 2019, surrounded by his loving children. He was born Feb. 10, 1928, in Forsyth County to Nathan Cicero and Mary Brock Miller Ellis. He graduated in 1947 from Clemmons High School and served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1952. He worked 35 years at R.J. Reynolds, 92 Processing and retired in 1987. He also farmed and raised Hereford cattle on family land for many years. Preceding him in death were his parents; his wife, Peggy; his brother, Joseph Brock Ellis and a son-in-law, Grayden Cayton. Miller married Peggy Denny in 1956. They had three children; twins, Mark Ellis (Kelly) of Clemmons and Susan Ellis Cayton of McAdenville and Beth Ellis King (Steve) of Wallburg; five grandchildren, Daniel Cayton (Danielle) of Belmont, Sarah Ellis of Columbia, S.C., John Ellis of Clemmons, Ethan King of Charlotte and Ryan King of Wallburg; two great grandchildren, Baiya Isabelle and Hendrix Gray Cayton of Belmont and a niece, Troyanne Ellis McMillan. Miller was a life-long member of Center Grove Baptist Church, where he served as church treasurer, deacon, Sunday school teacher, as well as many other roles for years. He will be remembered for being the epitome of humility, wisdom, faith, compassion, humor and of course his legendary stories. The family would like to give a very special thanks to Cindy Leonard and Terry Jones for caring for Miller for so many years and most recently the staff at Bermuda Village. A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at Center Grove Baptist Church Chapel with Dr. Mark Harris and Rev. Josh Hill officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. The family received friends from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Hayworth-Miller Kinderton Chapel. Memorials may be made in lieu of flowers to the Alzheimers Association, 4600 Park Rd. #250, Charlotte, N.C., 28209. Online condolences may be made at

Shannon LaVonne Knox Exline

Mrs. Shannon LaVonne Knox Exline, 78, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on March 1, 2019, at her residence. Shannon was born in Salt Lick, Ky., on Jan. 2, 1941, to the late Walter Vernon Knox and Myrtle Calvert Knox. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa., and graduated from Dusquesne High School in 1958 and worked for the superintendent and principal of Dusquesne High School following graduation. On July 25, 1959, she married the love of her life, Ronald Ernest Exline. Ronald and Shannon moved to Atlanta, Ga., to attend Atlanta Christian College and she worked for the government of Atlanta in the Fishery Department while in school. Following Ronald’s graduation from Atlanta Christian College, they moved to Winston-Salem. Shannon worked at Fairchild Industrial Products in Winston-Salem and retired with more than 30 years of service. She served faithfully beside her husband as he served as Minister of Matthews Chapel Church of Christ for 37 years. She served in numerous capacities including Sunday school teacher, sang in the choir and became choir director, as well as women’s ministry. Following Ronald’s retirement from Matthews Chapel Church of Christ, he served in pastoral care ministries at First Christian Church in Kernersville where Shannon became a member and served in women’s ministries. Shannon and Ronald became members of Pinedale Christian Church in Winston-Salem when Ronald ultimately retired from the ministry. She served in women’s ministry at Pinedale Christian Church as well. A dedicated wife, loving mother, and proud grandmother, she will be missed deeply and remembered for her selfless service. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Bobby Knox and Walter Knox; and one sister, Elizabeth Knox. Shannon is survived by her daughter, Joni Morris (Tim) of Lexington; one son, Jeff Exline of Winston-Salem; grandchildren, Zachary Morris, Ashton Morris, Scott Morris, Hunter Morris, Casey Morris Chapman (Jake), Shannon Elise Morris, Austin Exline, and Briana Exline; and one sister, Peggy Kopke of Largo, FL. A funeral service was held at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2019, at Pinedale Christian Church where Pastor Matthew Sink officiated. Interment followed at Eastlawn Gardens of Memory in Kernersville. The family received friends from 11 a.m. to noon prior to the service on Monday at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Hospice of the Piedmont, 1801 Westchester Dr., High Point, N.C. 27262 or Alzheimer’s Association, 4615 Dundas Dr., Greensboro, N.C., 27407. Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel is assisting the family of Mrs. Exline. Online condolences may be made at

Billie Ray Gainey

Mr. Billie Ray Gainey, 88, passed away at home on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. He was born in Jones County, Mississippi on April 22, 1930, to the late James Warren Gainey, Sr. and Lillie Perry Gainey. Mr. Gainey was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Force and later retired from Roadway Express with 35 years of service. He was also a member of Lewisville Baptist Church. Preceding him in death were two brothers and a sister. Surviving is his wife of many years, Dorothy Reeves Gainey; two sons, Stephen Ray Gainey and wife, Lynn and David Jay Gainey; granddaughter, Allison Gainey Steding and husband, Joel; also surviving are a brother-in-law, David Reeves and wife, Loretta and a sister-in-law, Sylvia Parrish. A graveside service was held 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, at Westlawn Gardens of Memory where Dr. George Smith officiated. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Lewisville Baptist Church, 125 Lewisville-Clemmons Rd. Lewisville, N.C., 27023. Hayworth-Miller Lewisville Chapel is serving the family of Mr. Gainey.

John ‘Junior’ Kilby Jr.

Mr. John “Junior” Kilby Jr., 54, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. He was born in Forsyth County on Dec. 15, 1964, to John Kilby, Sr. and Dot Kennedy Leonard. John was a long-time member of Grapevine Baptist Church. He was an inspiration to everyone he met. John loved to smile. He never met a stranger and he was always the life of the party. John was an excellent father to his children and he was always devoted to his family. He will be truly missed by many. He was preceded in death by his father, John Kilby, Sr. Surviving are his mother, Dot Leonard (Danny); children, Jennifer Freeman, Tanner Kilby, Douglas Kilby, Zachary Kilby, and Sydnee Kilby; brothers, Tim Kilby and Scott Kilby; step-mother, Susan Kilby; six grandchildren; and best friend, Mike Alderman, who remained loyal to John through everything. A memorial service was held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, at Grapevine Baptist Church where Preacher Ronnie Comer officiated. The family received friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to Grapevine Baptist Church, 7795 Grapevine Rd., Lewisville, N.C., 27023. Online condolences may be made at

Anthony ‘Tony’ Dwayne Lyons

Anthony “Tony” Dwayne Lyons, 52, passed away in Lewisville on Feb. 25, 2019. Tony was born in Winston-Salem on March 5, 1966, to the late Billy Carroll Lyons and Gerald Zean Brown Lyons. He worked for Dignity Memorial at Forsyth Memorial Park for 18 years. He loved spending time with his family, especially his nieces and nephew. Tony was an avid sports fan who loved cheering for NASCAR, the UNC Tarheels, or the Kansas City Chiefs. Tony leaves behind his wife, Dana Curlings; his brother, Tommy (Tammy) Lyons; nieces, Amanda, Sam, and Katie; great-nieces, Kyleigh, Stormie, and Averie; great-nephew, Chance; brother-in-law, Bill (Debbie) Curlings; sisters-in-law, Beth (Mike) Jones and Roxanna Steelman; best friend, Donnie Steelman; and many other relatives and friends. The funeral service was be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at Frank Vogler & Sons Funeral Home, 2849 Middlebrook Drive, officiated by Wayne Worrell. The family received friends for a visitation beginning at 5 p.m. Memorial contributions can be made in Tony’s honor to Hospice and Palliative Care of Winston-Salem.

Robert ‘Bob’ Alfred Mayer Jr.

Robert “Bob” Alfred Mayer Jr., 78, passed away on Feb. 15, 2019, with family by his side after fighting complications that resulted from a stroke. Bob was born on March 23, 1940, in Birmingham, Ala., to Robert and Sara Mayer. He graduated from The University of North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1962. Bob served in the Navy from 1962 to 1964 aboard the USS Observation Island, a special purpose research and development ship used for test firing experimental Polaris missiles for the Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Missile System Program. During his time in the Navy, he held such jobs as engineering officer, optical instrumentation officer and missile calibration officer. Bob went on to have a successful 30-year career at IBM in which he worked as an engineer on many exciting programs, including the NASA Saturn Apollo rocket missions. After retiring from IBM in 1994, Bob spent the rest of his life pursuing his passion for harnessing the power of electricity, which he ultimately turned into an invention with hopes to bring to production. Bob also took his love of the mysterious and his constant search for knowledge and authored a book called “The Intrigue of the Possible.” Bob was a member of the Masonic Lodges in both Manassas, Va., and Clemmons. He was also an avid singer and participated in several choral groups for many years. Bob is survived by his wife Elizabeth Joan; his children, Robert A. Mayer, III, and William Mayer (Shannon); his grandchildren, Will, Zack, Brad, Sophie and Katy; his step-children John, Steve and Kelly; and his sister, Nancy Cole (Bill). A reception was held at Clemmons United Methodist Church on Feb. 22, 2019, at 2 p.m. The memorial service followed at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Clemmons United Methodist Church 3700 Clemmons Road, Clemmons, N.C., 27012. Frank Vogler & Sons Funeral Home assisted the family.

Curtis Charles Spainhour

Mr. Curtis Charles Spainhour, 88, of Clemmons passed away on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, at his residence. Curtis was born on May 10, 1930, in Forsyth County to Charlie Winfield and Lula Bodford Spainhour. Mr. Spainhour was a member of Center Grove Baptist Church and retired from Bahnson Company with 30 years of loyal service. He loved John Deere and Allis Chalmers tractors; growing tomatoes, watermelons, and cantaloupes; and cutting firewood and lumber. Above all he was a loving family man who loved his Lord and Savior. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Bill Spainhour; two sisters, Flossie Spainhour and Frankie Spainhour Caudle. Surviving are his loving wife of 66 years, Helen Burrow Spainhour; one sister, Ethel Spainhour Nail; and several nieces and nephews. A funeral service was conducted at noon Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, at Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel. Interment followed at Bethel United Methodist Church. The family received friends from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, at Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel. Online condolences may be made at

Rachel Jones Spainhour

Mrs. Rachel Jones Spainhour, 82, of Lewisville passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. She was born May 17, 1936, in Forsyth County to Alec Pledger Jones and Beulah Simpson Jones. Mrs. Spainhour was a lifelong member of Sharon United Methodist Church. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers Pledger Jones and David Carlyle Jones and one sister Patricia Jones Williams. Surviving are her loving husband of 63 years, Dallas Marvin Spainhour; one sister Nancy Jones Beauchamp; three children Melanie Spainhour Beauchamp (Andy) of Mocksville, Dallas Kyle Spainhour (Eric) of Hillsborough, Calif., and Miriam Spainhour Lane (Mark) of Southport; seven grandchildren, Matthew, Justin, Emilee, Trevor, Cole, Bri and Griffin; and 3 great-grandchildren. This family, and her role as wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, were the most important things to her. This is where she drew her strength and left her legacy. She was a woman of strong faith with a generous spirit who always put others before herself. A funeral service was held at 4 p.m., Friday, March 1, 2019, at Sharon United Methodist Church. The family received friends at the church immediately following the service. It would be greatly appreciated that any memorials be made to Sharon United Methodist Church, 5330 Sharon Church Road, Lewisville, N.C., 27023. Online condolences may be made at

Nancy Cook Welfare

Nancy Cook Welfare, of Staunton, Vir., died at home on Feb. 21, 2019. Mrs. Welfare was the widow of Fred G. Welfare. A native of Clemmons, she had also lived in Durham and Wilmington; Lynchburg, Vir.; and Clinton, Tenn.

She is survived by five children, Rhonda Welfare of Staunton, Onna McKlennon of Amherst, Vir., Eric Welfare (Pam) of Lynchburg, Vir., Alan Welfare (Jennifer) of Gastonia, and Sandy Welfare ( Jennifer) of Staunton, Vir; her brother, Herman Cook of Columbus, Ohio; one aunt, Margaret Bayer of Clemmons; four grandsons, Zachary Wooldridge, Brent Robertson, Joshua Welfare, and Nicholas Welfare; an honorary granddaughter, LeeAnn George; a great-granddaughter, Lillie Mae Robertson; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, J. Thomas and Flossie Cook; her sister, Jane Cook Corn; and a granddaughter, Julia Merritt.

A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at The Legacy at North Augusta, 1410A N. Augusta St., Staunton, Vir., 24401. A graveside service will be held at a later time at Westlawn Gardens of Memory in Clemmons.

The family requests memorials be made to the music program at Temple Baptist Church, 2121 Umstead Road, Durham N.C., 27712, or  Send a Kid to Camp Campaign, YMCA of Greater Charlotte, 1020 Euclid Ave., Charlotte, N.C., 28202.

Betty Marie Oakley Wilson

Betty Marie Oakley Wilson, 89, went home to be with her Lord on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, at Clemmons Village II. Betty was born on Sunday morning, July 14, 1929, to the late William Earl and Louella Hill Oakley. She loved life and it loved her back. Betty did not believe in long obituaries. She always said we all live in our obituaries, and her family, relatives, and friends knew her joys and accomplishments. In addition to her parents, Betty was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Harvey; three brothers, Lawrence Oakley, Kermit Oakley, and Ike Oakley; and a sister, Sandra Oakley Roberts. Betty is survived by her children, Robin Kent Wilson (Dorothy) and Patti Wilson Harden (Mike); grandchildren, Kent Wilson (Stephanie), Chris Wilson (Allison), Lauren Lively (Tom), Tyler Wichelhaus (Megan), and Emma Harden; 3 great-grandchildren, Avery Joe Wichelhaus, Brady Matthew Wilson, and Dylan Wichelhaus; and a brother, Ralph Oakley. One of Betty’s greatest loves was serving her Lord at Salem Chapel Christian Church, where she served as secretary for 43 years and in many other capacities. The family received friends on Sunday, March 3, 2019, from 1-2 p.m. at Salem Chapel Christian Church. There was a 2 p.m. graveside service following the visitation in the church cemetery with Rev. George Murray officiating. Memorials may be made to Salem Chapel Christian Church Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 1085, Walnut Cove, N.C., 27052. Online condolences may be made at Burroughs Funeral Home is serving the Wilson family.